"Pass it, Kagami!"
"Damn it, listen to your senpai!"
"Kuroko! . . . Just keep on doing what you're doing."
The teal-head gave a blank thumbs-up to his coach before disappearing behind his mark and waited for the ball patiently. Kagami saw the waiting player and quickly passed the ball before running toward the basket. The basketball was in his hands immediately, and he jumped to dunk it through hard. He let go of the rim and landed on his feet with an arrogant smirk. "Heh, how was tha—"
"Nice pass, Kuroko!"
"That was awesome!"
"You're so reliable."
The small sixteen-year-old showed no emotion as the Seirin basketball members bathed him in attention and crowded around him. Kagami dropped his jaw. "O-oi! I was the one who made the shot!"
"Shut up, Bakagami," Hyuuga waved him off.
Kuroko silently made his way to the bench and grabbed his water bottle. Kagami sulked, his shoulders dropping. "Nobody appreciates my dunks."
"Keh, of course not. An elementary kid can dunk better than that." A rude, deep voice had everybody but Kuroko turning their heads. Kuroko was too busy drinking his water to notice, or maybe he was used to the voice so much, he subconsciously ignored it. A tanned teenager stood at the sidelines with a face that showed he was in a bad mood.
"Who are you?" Riko demanded. "You're not from Seirin, are you? You're trespassing school grounds."
Aomine glared at the short, flat-chested girl. "Hah? I have a visitor's badge."
"Hey you! What did you say about my dunk?" Kagami's short temper was rising to the top.
"I said an elementary kid can dunk better than that," Aomine drawled. "Or are you deaf, too?"
Kagami's eye twitched. "Who are you anyway?"
Kuroko drank the last drop of his water and set his water bottle down before turning to see what was the commotion about. When his eyes locked on the irritated Aomine, he blinked. "Oh, it's been awhile, Aomine-kun."
"Aomine? You know him, Kuroko?" Riko frowned. "A friend of yours?"
"Oi, oi, don't tell me you're friends with this bastard," Kagami snapped.
The ganguro looked at Kuroko, and his bad mood vanished mysteriously. "Tetsu!" He walked over and swung an arm around the short boy. "Don't tell me you're hanging around with these people?" The Seirin members were shocked at how close Aomine was to Kuroko. Kagami dropped his ball.
Kuroko didn't mind the arm, but he looked up to Aomine with a frown. "They're my teammates. Besides that, what are you doing here, Aomine-kun?"
"Tch, I can't visit you? I haven't seen you since graduation ceremony." Aomine glared at the shocked basketball members, but his hatred was more pointed toward Kagami. Kagami raised his eccentric eyebrows. What was this killing aura he was feeling? "So he's your new light? Doesn't seem that impressive."
"You looking down on me? Why don't we one-on-one and see who isn't 'impressive'?" Kagami demanded. "And gets your hands off of Kuroko! I don't know who you are, but you can't just barge in here and interrupt our practice!"
"Ha-ah?" Aomine flicked his eyes toward Kagami. "I can do what I want. Tetsu doesn't mind."
"Actually, Aomine-kun, I need to get my bag." Kuroko easily slipped out of Aomine's hold and retrieved his basketball bag. He wiped off his sweat with his usual sweatband. "Practice is over, anyways. Kagami-kun and I were planning to go to Maji's after. Would Aomine-kun like to come?"
Kagami nearly choked on his spit. "Kuroko! Don't invite someone so easily to our plans! And who said I was going to go with you?"
Kuroko looked unfazed. "But it's more exciting when more people are there." He said this in such a monotoned, dull voice that everybody thought he was lying. Aomine was used to this, though, and only grunted, which meant he would come along.
"H-hold on, Kuroko," Hyuuga pressed a hand to his face. "Could you at least tell us who the hell he is?"
"Aomine-kun?" Kuroko finally realized his former teammate was a stranger to his new teammates. "Aomine-kun was on the basketball team with me. He was a regular in the first string."
Seirin's team stilled. Regular in the . . . first string? Did that mean this tanned, arrogant teenager was part of the famous Generation of Miracles? It would probably explain the strange aura coming off of him . . . probably.
Kagami's eyes lit with excitement. Finally, someone I could challenge. He was about to open his big mouth to demand for a one-on-one, but wasn't able to when the ganguro passed him without a second's glance. Actually, there was a glance, but it was more of a glare that had Kagami freeze.
"Are you coming, Aomine-kun? Kagami-kun?" Kuroko was already at the door.
"Ahn. Wait out there, Tetsu. There's a bathroom in here, right?" Aomine smirked. Hyuuga received goosebumps.
"Hai. It's to your left. Kagami-kun, hurry and change please." Kuroko left.
Abruptly, the happy mood Aomine held disappeared, and a hatred-filling, murderous atmosphere entered the gym. Aomine had a suspicious-looking grin on his face. "Listen," he said lowly. Riko clutched onto Teppei tightly.
"It feels like he wants to kill us." Teppei swallowed.
"Tetsu used to be my partner. But he was also everybody's supporter in the Generation of Miracles," Aomine's killing intent grew. "If any of you touches Tetsu, not only would I kill you, but Akashi would probably bring you back to life to kill you all again."
Bring us back to life . . . then kill us? Is that even possible? The look on Aomine's face told them it was.
The tense air disappeared as the tanned teenager stretched and let out a heavy breath. He bent down to pick up at basketball and weighed it in his hands, thinking. Kagami took this chance to talk, "What the hell are you talking about, you bastard? Kuroko isn't—"
The ace of Seirin suddenly felt something smack his face hard, and he was down on the floor before he knew it. Pain in his nose blossomed. He saw stars. The basketball that had hit him bounced on the floor twice behind him before rolling over to one of the corners of the gym.
Seirin's members looked at the culprit in shock. Aomine looked at his empty hand, to a dazed Kagami, then back to his hand. He scratched the back of his head. "My hand slipped." That was all he said before walking out the door of the gym.
Once outside, he spotted Kuroko sitting on the bench waiting. He stopped before the teal-head could recognize him and pressed a button in his ear, "Target confirmed," Aomine murmured.
Akashi's voice boomed in his ear, "Excellent." A dark chuckle came out, and it even gave the ace shivers. "Lure him in."
"We'll be going to Maji's. You were right, Akashi. Tetsu and that Kagami guy are getting too close."
"Of course I was right. I am always right. Shintarou and Atsushi will be waiting at the back alley of Maji's. They will take over soon."
Aomine gave the confirmation, and the connection was out. "Tetsu!" he called for Kuroko's attention.
"Aomine-kun." Kuroko stood up to look behind his old partner. "Where's Kagami-kun?"
As if on cue, Kagami came out of the gym, grumbling and rubbing his nose. Kuroko noticed this: "Kagami-kun, what happened to your nose?"
The death glare Aomine gave him told him he shouldn't tell. "Nothing," he grunted. "Just bumped into the wall."
"I see. Try not to be reckless. Shall we go?"
The three walked to Maji's in a rather awkward fashion. To Kuroko, it was fine, and the silence was peaceful. To Kagami, however, it felt like his life was at risk every second with Aomine's glares, and he swore he could hear unknown chants coming from the ganguro. Whenever Kagami would get close to Kuroko, he could find himself in near-death situations, such as suddenly getting pushed into the streets while a car came by, tripping over an 'unknown' leg and nearly stabbing himself with an ice-cream cone that just so happened to be standing upright so that the pointy-side was pointed toward the sky. There was this one time where mysterious scissors flew out of nowhere and nearly stabbed his nose if he hadn't ducked backwards. Even Aomine looked shock at that one, but he chuckled afterwards, murmuring something that Kagami could only catch ". . . .shi."
"A vanilla milkshake, please," Kuroko repeated a third time, but still the cashier didn't take notice of him.
Aomine rubbed a hand over his face. "Are you even paying attention?" he snapped. "He said he wanted a vanilla milkshake."
The cashier frowned. "Who . . .?" He looked down, then yelped and leaped back. He hadn't even noticed the teal-head. "I-I'm very sorry. I didn't notice . . ."
Kuroko was used to it. "One vanilla milkshake, please." The cashier quickly typed it in.
"Twenty-two teriyaki burgers," Aomine said dully. He watched as the cashier widened his eyes at the order, but didn't question it since the blue-head looked dangerous.
"Twenty-three regular burgers," Kagami ordered. Aomine grunted at how childish it was.
"Well, have fun paying for that. Come on, Tetsu, let's find a seat." Aomine started walking away with Kuroko followed obediently.
Kagami couldn't believe it. "Are you going to make me pay for your food too?" he called after the ace angrily.
"Uhn, I'm counting on you," Aomine said half-heartedly and waved his hand.
The cashier entered the whole order in and bit his lip. Kagami looked almost as scary as Aomine. "T-that'd be 12,800 yen, s-sir." (12,800 = roughly $136)
12,800 yen? Damn that bastard! Kagami pulled out his emergency credit card and quickly paid. He came back to the table Kuroko and Aomine occupied and slammed the tray down. He glared at the bored ace. "What the hell? You owe me at least half of my 12,800 yen!"
Kuroko discreetly slid in two-hundred yen in Kagami's pocket to pay him back for his vanilla shake. "Thank you, Kagami-kun." He took his milkshake and happily drank it.
While Kagami was busy ranting and yelling bad names toward Aomine, the tanned teenager ducked his head and discreetly pushed the voice receiver. "I'll be bringing the target back. Are they ready?"
"They are. Once you hand the thing over, you can continue your interactions with Tetsuya. Receive information of the others." Akashi's low, murmuring voice could make anybody freeze. Aomine disconnected once he got his orders.
"And why are you whispering to yourself? It's not going to help repay the money you owe me!"
Aomine stood up, annoyed with the tall returnee. "Let's go," he said gruffly.
"Hah? Go where?"
"One-on-one. If you win, I'll pay back full."
Kagami started rolling up his sleeves, an arrogant smirk on his face. "Heh, finally. I get to see how hard the 'Generation of Miracles' are."
"Be careful, Kagami-kun," Kuroko said, uninterested in their banter. "Riko-san will be mad if you ruin your body before the practice match."
"Heh, this will be over quick," Kagami stated.
You got that right, buddy, Aomine thought as he started to walk toward the back entrance. The back entrance was an alley, and well, it was a soon-to-be crime scene. Kagami didn't question why they were using the back entrance, assuming it was a short cut to the basketball courts.
The back entrance door opened easily. Aomine held open the door and gestured for Kagami to go out first. Feeling suspicious, Kagami hesitantly walked through the threshold. Quickly, so fast that Kagami didn't see it coming, the door slammed shut, and Aomine held onto the handle tightly. The red-head twirled around to grasp the handle and tried to yank it open. It didn't budge.
"Oi, bastard! What the hell is this—let me in! Oi!" Kagami yelled, pounding hard on the door. "I'll kill you!"
Aomine smirked. It's actually the other way around.
"Mm, so this is the guy, Mido-chin?" Munch, munch.
"It is. I believe his name is Kagami Taiga."
"Taiga, huh? Sounds like a tiger."
Two voices had Kagami freeze his loud protesting. What—what was this he was feeling? Murderous . . . intent? It was similar to Aomine's . . . but this was double the feeling? He was almost too scared to turn around, but he did slowly.
"Who—who are you?" Kagami tried to demand, looking at the two tall players. They had strange hair colors.
"Are~He's asking for our names, Mido-chin."
Midorima pushed up his glasses. "I can hear, Murasakibara."
The purple-head regarded Kagami for a second before bending down and holding out a piece of candy to him. "Do you want it?"
Kagami looked at him weirdly. "Why are you giving me it? Who are you?"
"Why~? To distract you from the pain, of course!" Murasakibara said this a little too cheerfully.
"Now, Murasakibara, you should know nothing would distract him from the pain." For the first time, Kagami noticed the green-head was holding a long piece of rope. "Akashi shows no mercy to those who gets in the way." Midorima slowly advanced toward the retreating Kagami. The returnee could only go as far as the brick wall let him, and he pressed his back against it hard.
"W-what are you doing?"
Midorima let out a terrifying smirk. His glasses glinted, but his eyes showed nothing but pure fury and hatred. "Nothing . . . much."
An echoing scream filled the streets of Tokyo.
And unbeknownst to it all, Kuroko continued to sip on his vanilla milkshake, all the while thinking:
Aomine-kun and Kagami-kun must be getting along well.
Ah, this was fun to write. I'm glad many people are happy of this break-fun story. I'm definitely glad to get away from my mystery stories for awhile (Though my Whispering Fireworks story will be updated soon). I hope you enjoyed it!
Tell me of mistakes!